4An Ancient Pyramid Turned into a Road
The Nohmul pyramid was one of the largest Mayan pyramids in the small Central American country of Belize. Built 2,000 years ago and standing over 100 feet tall, it sat at the center of a settlement consisting of 81 buildings and served as the No. 1 prayer spot for 40,000 Mayans.
That doesn't really look like much of a pyram- oh.
We're using the past tense there, because the Mayans interbred and advanced right along with modern civilization and now do most of their praying in front of the toilet, like the rest of us slobs. And because, in 2013, builders decided that the pyramid would be more useful in its alternate form: a road. So they bashed it to the ground and used it for paving materials.
The "aliens built the pyramids" theorists are never gonna shut up about this little faux pas.
Their excuse for the destruction was that, technically, the pyramid was on private land and they had the permission of the owner. Sound logic: That's exactly why, if you're out digging in your yard one day and accidentally unearth the Holy Grail, you're perfectly free to drink Schlitz out of it and whip it at your annoying neighbor's head. But that doesn't mean you're not an asshole for doing so. Thankfully, the Belize government didn't take kindly to this archaeodickitry and pursued criminal fines over the matter. Fines that reach all the way up to $10,000, a number that we sincerely hope is missing a 0, or else Belize is way more (morally or fiscally) bankrupt than we thought.
3Five Ancient Tombs Destroyed for a Rail Project
While constructing the Guangzhou Metro Line 6, contractors in China destroyed five ancient tombs in one day. Man, the workday's almost over, and we've barely even destroyed one tomb. China truly is a powerhouse.
Zhang Xiaoli, Xinhua via Fame/Barcroft
So is there, like, a trick to it, or do we just need to start getting up before 10?
What makes the story more unusual, however, is that archaeologists were actually in the process of excavating the tombs at the time. They had a whole dig site set up and everything: tents, tools, those little ankle-high ropes that, seriously, fellas, ain't gonna keep out an Ewok. The researchers were caught so unaware by the tomb-pocalypse that they literally left the intact site on Friday night and returned Saturday morning to a mummy holocaust.
The workers chalked the artifact obliteration up to a misunderstanding with authorities, claiming they "did not know the tombs could not be bulldozed." Jesus, we'd think the historical value, if not the sheer curse potential, would make that kind of thing self-evident.
"Sorry, my fault. I was texting."
This kind of wanton Chinese tomb destruction (dibs on the band name) wasn't an isolated incident. As many as a dozen other treasures containing skeleton shacks have been blown to smithereens since the beginning of the year, many by the very same construction company. So this company is utterly corrupt, entirely staffed by grossly incompetent workers, or the only thing keeping mainland China safe from mummy invasion.
Mike Flokis/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Just another victim of outsourcing.